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Publication numberUS8163841 B2
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 12/922,352
Publication dateApr 24, 2012
Filing dateMar 4, 2009
Priority dateMar 14, 2008
Also published asCN101970733A, CN101970733B, EP2258891A1, EP2258891A4, EP2258891B1, US20110040009, WO2009113184A1, WO2009113555A1
Publication number12922352, 922352, US 8163841 B2, US 8163841B2, US-B2-8163841, US8163841 B2, US8163841B2
InventorsShintaro Shimada, Fuyuki Terasaka
Original AssigneeTeijin Fibers Limited
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Polyethylene naphthalate fibers and method for producing the same
US 8163841 B2
Abstract
Polyethylene naphthalate fibers that are characterized in that the fibers have a crystal volume of from 550 to 1,200 nm3 obtained by wide angle X-ray diffraction of the fiber and a degree of crystallization of from 30 to 60%. It is preferred that the fibers have a maximum peak diffraction angle of wide angle X-ray diffraction of from 25.5 to 27.0° and a melting point of from 285 to 315° C. The production method thereof is characterized in that a particular phosphorus compound is added to the polymer in a molten state, the spinning draft ratio after discharging from the spinneret is from 100 to 5,000, and the molten polymer immediately after discharging from the spinneret is allowed to pass through a heat-retaining spinning chimney at a temperature within ±50° C. of a temperature of the molten polymer, and is drawn.
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Claims(18)
1. Polyethylene naphthalate fibers comprising ethylene naphthalate as a major repeating unit, characterized in that the fibers have a crystal volume of from 550 to 1,200 nm3 obtained by wide angle X-ray diffraction of the fiber and a degree of crystallization of from 30 to 60%.
2. The polyethylene naphthalate fibers according to claim 1, wherein the fibers have a maximum peak diffraction angle of wide angle X-ray diffraction of from 25.5 to 27.0°.
3. The polyethylene naphthalate fibers according to claim 1, wherein the fibers have an exothermic peak energy ΔHcd of from 15 to 50 J/g under a nitrogen stream and a temperature decreasing condition of 10° C. per minute.
4. The polyethylene naphthalate fibers according to claim 1, wherein the fibers contain phosphorus atoms in an amount of from 0.1 to 300 mmol % based on the ethylene naphthalate unit.
5. The polyethylene naphthalate fibers according to claim 1, wherein the fibers contain a metallic element, and the metallic element is at least one or more metallic element selected from the group of metallic elements of the groups 3 to 12 in the fourth and fifth periods in the periodic table and Mg.
6. The polyethylene naphthalate fibers according to claim 5, wherein the metallic element is at least one or more metallic element selected from the group of Zn, Mn, Co and Mg.
7. The polyethylene naphthalate fibers according to claim 1, wherein the fibers have a tenacity of from 4.0 to 10.0 cN/dtex.
8. The polyethylene naphthalate fibers according to claim 1, wherein the fibers have a melting point of from 285 to 315° C.
9. The polyethylene naphthalate fibers according to claim 1, wherein the fibers have a hot air shrinkage of 0.5% or more and less than 4.0% at 180° C.
10. The polyethylene naphthalate fibers according to claim 1, wherein the fibers have a tan δ peak temperature of from 150 to 170° C.
11. The polyethylene naphthalate fibers according to claim 1, wherein the fibers have a ratio E′ (200° C.)/E′ (20° C.) of from 0.25 to 0.5, whereby E′ (200° C.) is a modulus at 200° C. and E′ (20° C.) is a modulus at 20° C.
12. A method for producing polyethylene naphthalate fibers comprising melting a polymer having ethylene naphthalate as a major repeating unit, and discharging the polymer from a spinneret, characterized in that at least one of a phosphorus compound represented by the following formula (I) or (II) is added to the polymer in a molten state, which is then discharged from the spinneret, with a spinning draft ratio after discharging from the spinneret of from 100 to 5,000, and the molten polymer immediately after discharging from the spinneret is allowed to pass through a heat-retaining spinning chimney at a temperature within ±50° C. of a temperature of the molten polymer, and is drawn:
[wherein R1 represents an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 1 to 20 carbon atoms; R2 represents a hydrogen atom, or an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 1 to 20 carbon atoms; and X represents a hydrogen atom or a —OR3 group, wherein when X represents a —OR3 group, R3 represents a hydrogen atom, or an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 1 to 12 carbon atoms, provided that R2 and R3 may be the same as or different from each other,]
[wherein R4 to R6 each represent an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 4 to 18 carbon atoms, provided that R4 to R6 may be the same as or different from each other.]
13. The method for producing polyethylene naphthalate fibers according to claim 12, wherein the spinning speed is from 1,500 to 6,000 m/min.
14. The method for producing polyethylene naphthalate fibers according to claim 12, wherein the heat-retaining spinning chimney has a length of from 10 to 250 mm.
15. The method for producing polyethylene naphthalate fibers according to claim 12, wherein the phosphorus compound is a compound represented by the following general formula (I′):
[wherein Ar represents an aryl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 6 to 20 carbon atoms; R2 represents a hydrogen atom, or an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 1 to 20 carbon atoms; and Y represents a hydrogen atom or a —OH group.]
16. The method for producing polyethylene naphthalate fibers according to claim 15, wherein the phosphorus compound is phenylphosphinic acid or phenylphosphonic acid.
17. The method for producing polyethylene naphthalate fibers according to claim 12, wherein the polymer in a molten state contains a metallic element, and the metallic element is at least one or more metallic element selected from the group of metallic elements of the groups 3 to 12 in the fourth and fifth periods in the periodic table and Mg.
18. The method for producing polyethylene naphthalate fibers according to claim 17, wherein the metallic element is at least one or more metallic element selected from the group of Zn, Mn, Co and Mg.
Description
TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to polyethylene naphthalate fibers that are excellent in heat resistance while having high modulus and are useful as industrial materials and the like, particularly a tire cord, rubber reinforcing fibers for a driving belt and the like, and to a method for producing the same.

BACKGROUND ART

Polyethylene naphthalate fibers exhibit high tenacity, high modulus and excellent dimensional stability, and is now being applied widely to the field of industrial materials including a tire cord and a rubber reinforcing material for a driving belt and the like. In particular, they are strongly expected as a substitute of rayon fibers having been conventionally used, owing to the high modulus. This is because the rayon fibers have such a problem that they generate large load on production and suffers difficulties on processing, molding and use due to the large difference between the wet and dry properties thereof. However, rayon fibers have high dimensional stability and are easy to handle as rubber reinforcing fibers, but polyethylene naphthalate fibers contain molecules that are rigid and liable to align in the fiber axis, thereby facilitating provision of such properties as high tenacity and high modulus, but have such a problem that the dimensional stability, particularly the dimensional stability to heat, is difficult to attain simultaneously.

Under the circumstances, for example, Patent Document 1 proposes polyethylene naphthalate fibers that are excellent in heat resistance and dimensional stability formed by high-speed spinning. However, there is a problem that the fibers have low strength when they have a high melting point, but the fibers have a low melting point when they have high strength. In other words, the fibers cannot satisfy both strength and heat resistance at high levels.

Patent Document 2 discloses polyethylene naphthalate fibers that are excellent in hot air shrinkage and creep ratio along with high strength formed by providing a heated spinning chimney heated to 390° C. immediately beneath the melt-spinning die (spinneret) to perform high-speed spinning and hot stretching at a draft of about 300 times. However, the resulting fibers still have a low melting point of 288° C. and an insufficient tenacity of 8.0 g/de (about 6.8 N/dtex), and thus are not satisfactory in heat resistance and dimensional stability.

As different from Patent Document 2, Patent Document 3 proposes polyethylene naphthalate fibers that have high strength and excellent heat stability formed in such a manner that an undrawn yarn formed with a drawing speed of 1,000 m/min or less and a low draft of about 60 times is subjected to delayed cooling with a spinning chimney having a length of from 20 to 50 cm and an atmospheric temperature of from 275 to 350° C., and then to drawing at a high draw ratio. Patent Document 4 proposes polyethylene naphthalate fibers that have high strength and excellent dimensional stability formed in such a manner that an undrawn yarn having a low birefringence of from 0.005 to 0.025 is obtained at a spinning draft ratio of from 400 to 900, and is then subjected to multi-stage drawing at a total draw ratio of 6.5 or more.

However, fibers obtained by these methods have favorable properties in strength, but the melting point thereof is as low as 284° C. or lower, and thus they are still insufficient in heat resistance and dimensional stability.

  • (Patent Document 1) JP-A-62-156312
  • (Patent Document 2) JP-A-06-184815
  • (Patent Document 3) JP-A-04-352811
  • (Patent Document 4) JP-A-2002-339161
DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION Problems to be Solved by the Invention

In view of the aforementioned current situations, an object of the invention is to provide polyethylene naphthalate fibers that are excellent in heat resistance while having high modulus, resulting in excellent fatigue resistance under high temperature conditions, and are useful as industrial materials and the like, particularly a tire cord and rubber reinforcing fibers for a driving belt and the like, and a method for producing the same.

Means for Solving the Problems

The polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention contain ethylene naphthalate as a major repeating unit, characterized in that the fibers have a crystal volume of from 550 to 1,200 nm3 obtained by wide angle X-ray diffraction of the fiber and a degree of crystallization of from 30 to 60%.

It is preferred that the fibers have a maximum peak diffraction angle of wide angle X-ray diffraction of from 25.5 to 27.0°, and contain phosphorus atoms in an amount of from 0.1 to 300 mmol % based on the ethylene naphthalate unit. It is also preferred that the polyethylene naphthalate fibers contain a metallic element, and the metallic element is at least one or more metallic element selected from the group of metallic elements of the groups 3 to 12 in the fourth and fifth periods in the periodic table and Mg, and it is more preferred that the metallic element is at least one or more metallic element selected from the group of Zn, Mn, Co and Mg.

It is preferred that the fibers have an exothermic peak energy ΔHcd of from 15 to 50 J/g under a nitrogen stream and a temperature decreasing condition of 10° C. per minute, a tenacity of from 4.0 to 10.0 cN/dtex, and a melting point of from 285 to 315° C. It is also preferred that the fibers have a hot air shrinkage of 0.5% or more and less than 4.0% at 180° C., a tan δ peak temperature of from 150 to 170° C., and a ratio E′ (200° C.)/E′ (20° C.) of from 0.25 to 0.5, whereby E′ (200° C.) is a modulus at 200° C. and E′ (20° C.) is a modulus at 20° C.

The method for producing polyethylene naphthalate fibers of another aspect of the invention contains melting a polymer having ethylene naphthalate as a major repeating unit, and discharging the polymer from a spinneret (spinning die), characterized in that at least one of a phosphorus compound represented by the following formula (I) or (II) is added to the polymer in a molten state, which is then discharged from the spinneret, with a spinning draft ratio after discharging from the spinneret of from 100 to 5,000, and the molten polymer immediately after discharging from the spinneret is allowed to pass through a heat-retaining spinning chimney at a temperature within ±50° C. of a temperature of the molten polymer, and is drawn:


[wherein R1 represents an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 1 to 20 carbon atoms; R2 represents a hydrogen atom, or an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 1 to 20 carbon atoms; and X represents a hydrogen atom or a —OR3 group, wherein when X represents a —OR3 group, R3 represents a hydrogen atom, or an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 1 to 12 carbon atoms, provided that R2 and R3 may be the same as or different from each other,]


[wherein R4 to R6 each represent an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 4 to 18 carbon atoms, provided that R4 to R6 may be the same as or different from each other.]

It is preferred that the spinning speed is from 1,500 to 6,000 m/min, and the heat-retaining spinning chimney has a length of from 10 to 250 mm.

The phosphorus compound is preferably a compound represented by the following general formula (I′), and the phosphorus compound is particularly preferably phenylphosphinic acid or phenylphosphonic acid:


[wherein Ar represents an aryl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 6 to 20 carbon atoms; R2 represents a hydrogen atom, or an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 1 to 20 carbon atoms; and Y represents a hydrogen atom or a —OH group.]

Advantages of the Invention

According to the invention, polyethylene naphthalate fibers are provided that are excellent in heat resistance while having high modulus, resulting in excellent fatigue resistance under high temperature conditions, and are useful as industrial materials and the like, particularly a tire cord and rubber reinforcing fibers for a driving belt and the like, and a method for producing the same is provided.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a wide angle X-ray diffraction spectrum of Example 5, which is a product according to the invention.

FIG. 2 is a wide angle X-ray diffraction spectrum of Comparative Example 1, which is a conventional product.

FIG. 3 is a wide angle X-ray diffraction spectrum of Comparative Example 8.

EXPLANATION OF SYMBOLS

    • 1 Example 5
    • 2 Comparative Example 1
    • 3 Comparative Example 8
BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

The polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention contain ethylene naphthalate as a major repeating unit. The polyethylene naphthalate fibers preferably contain an ethylene-2,6-naphthalate unit in an amount of 80% or more, and particularly 90% or more. The polyethylene naphthalate fibers may be a copolymer containing a suitable third component in a small amount. Polyethylene terephthalate, which is also a polyester, has no clear crystalline structure and cannot be the fibers of the invention having both high tenacity and high elastic modulus.

The polyethylene naphthalate fibers can generally be formed by melt-spinning a polyethylene naphthalate polymer. The polyethylene naphthalate polymer can be formed by polymerizing naphthalene-2,6-dicarboxylic acid or a functional derivative thereof in the presence of a catalyst under suitable reaction condition. A polyethylene naphthalate copolymer can be synthesized by adding one kind or two or more kinds of a suitable third component before completing polymerization of polyethylene naphthalate.

Suitable examples of the third component include (a) a compound having two ester-forming functional groups, for example, an aliphatic dicarboxylic acid, such as oxalic acid, succinic acid, adipic acid, sebacic acid, dimer acid and the like; an alicyclic dicarboxylic acid, such as cyclopropanedicarboxylic acid, cyclobutanedicarboxylic acid, hexahydroterephthalic acid and the like; an aromatic dicarboxylic acid, such as phthalic acid, isophthalic acid, naphthalene-2,7-dicarboxylic acid, diphenyldicarboxylic acid and the like; a carboxylic acid, such as diphenyletherdicarboxylic acid, diphenylsulfonedicarboxylic acid, diphenoxyethanedicarboxylic acid, sodium 3,5-dicarboxybenzenesulfonate and the like; an oxycarboxylic acid, such as glycolic acid, p-oxybenzoic acid, p-oxyethoxybenzoic acid and the like; an oxy compound, such as propylene glycol, trimethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, tetramethylene glycol, hexamethylene glycol, neopentylene glycol, p-xylylene glycol, 1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol, bisphenol A, p,p′-diphenoxysulfone-1,4-bis(β-hydroxyethoxy)benzene, 2,2-bis(p-β-hydroxyethoxyphenyl)propane, polyalkylene glycol, p-phenylenebis(dimethylcyclohexane) and the like, or a functional derivative thereof; a highly polymerized compound derived from the carboxylic acids, the oxycarboxylic acids, and the oxy compounds or the functional derivative thereof, and (b) a compound having one ester-forming functional group, for example, benzoic acid, benzoylbenzoic acid, benzyloxybenzoic acid, methoxypolyalkylene glycol and the like. Furthermore, (c) a compound having three or more ester-forming functional groups, for example, glycerin, pentaerythritol, trimethylolpropane, tricarballylic acid, trimesic acid, trimellitic acid and the like, may be used in such a range that the polymer is substantially in a linear form.

The polyethylene naphthalate may contain various kinds of additives, for example, an additive, such as a matte agent, e.g., titanium dioxide and the like, a heat stabilizer, a defoaming agent, an orthochromatic agent, a flame retardant, an antioxidant, an ultraviolet ray absorbent, an infrared ray absorbent, a fluorescent whitening agent, a plasticizer and an impact resisting agent, and a reinforcing agent, such as montmorillonite, bentonite, hectorite, plate iron oxide, plate calcium carbonate, plate boehmite, carbon nanotubes and the like.

The polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention are fibers containing the polyethylene naphthalate, and necessarily have a crystal volume of from 550 to 1,200 nm3 (from 550,000 to 1,200,000 Å3) obtained by wide angle X-ray diffraction and a degree of crystallization of from 30 to 60%. The crystal volume is preferably from 600 to 1,000 nm3 (from 600,000 to 1,000,000 Å3). The degree of crystallization is preferably from 35 to 55%.

The crystal volume in this application is a product of crystalline sizes obtained from diffraction peaks at diffraction angles of from 15 to 16°, from 23 to 25°, and from 22.5 to 27° in wide angle X-ray diffraction of fibers. The diffraction angles are each ascribed to surface reflection on the crystal planes (010), (100) and (1-10) of the polyethylene naphthalate fibers, respectively, and theoretically correspond to the Bragg angles 2θ, but the peaks slightly shift depending on fluctuation of the total crystal structure. The crystal structure is inherent to polyethylene naphthalate fibers and is not found in polyethylene terephthalate fibers, which are also polyester fibers.

The degree of crystallization (Xc) in this application is a value obtained from the specific gravity (ρ) and the perfect amorphous density (ρa) and the perfect crystal density (ρc) of the polyethylene naphthalate according to the following expression (1).
degree of crystallization Xc={ρc(ρ−ρa)/ρ(ρc−ρa)}×100  (1)
wherein
ρ: specific gravity of polyethylene naphthalate fibers
ρa: 1.325 (perfect amorphous density of polyethylene naphthalate)
ρc: 1.407 (perfect crystal density of polyethylene naphthalate)

The polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention achieve a high crystal volume that has not been conventionally attained while maintaining a high degree of crystallization that is equivalent to conventional high strength fibers, thereby providing high heat stability and high melting point. A crystal volume of less than 550 nm3 (550,000 Å3) fails to provide the high melting point. The crystal volume is preferably as high as possible since the heat stability is enhanced, but the degree of crystallization is generally decreased and strength is decreased in such a case, and the upper limit thereof is about 1,200 nm3 (1,200,000 Å3). A degree of crystallization of less than 30% fails to provide high tensile strength and modulus.

An increased crystal volume can be effectively obtained by a method of spinning while maintaining the temperature under the spinneret low upon spinning. A large crystal volume can also be obtained by stretching the fibers by increasing the spinning draft ratio, the draw ratio and the like. However, when the spinning draft ratio is increased, the polyethylene naphthalate fibers, which are rigid fibers, are liable to be broken, and thus it is particularly effective that the spinning draft ratio is adjusted to a range of about from 100 to 5,000, and the draw ratio is increased. In the case where such draft is performed that the crystal volume is increased while maintaining the temperature under the spinneret low upon spinning, generally, the yarn is broken upon spinning to fail to produce the fibers. In the invention, however, a particular phosphorus compound is used to achieve the crystal volume.

An increased degree of crystallization can be obtained by stretching the fibers at a high ratio by increasing the spinning draft ratio, the draw ratio and the like, as similar to the method for increasing the crystal volume. However, when the degree of crystallization and the crystal volume are increased simultaneously, the polyethylene naphthalate fibers, which are rigid fibers, are increasingly liable to be broken. It is therefore important in the invention that the crystal volume is in a range of from 550 to 1,200 nm3 (from 550,000 to 1,200,000 Å3), and simultaneously the degree of crystallization is from 30 to 60%. Accordingly, it is important to form a homogeneous crystal structure in the stage of the polymer before spinning. For example, the addition of a particular phosphorus compound to the polymer realizes the homogeneous crystal structure.

The polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention preferably have a maximum peak diffraction angle of wide angle X-ray diffraction in a range of from 25.5 to 27.0°. While the reasons therefor are not clear, the crystal of the (1-10) plane among the crystal planes (010), (100) and (1-10) grows largely in the fiber axis, thereby enhancing the heat resistance largely. The size of the crystal in parallel to the fiber axis can be generally increased by stretching the fibers in a definite direction at a high ratio, and can be attained, for example, by increasing the spinning draft ratio, the draw ratio and the like.

The polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention preferably have an exothermic peak energy ΔHcd of from 15 to 50 J/g under temperature decreasing condition. It is more preferably from 20 to 50 J/g, and particularly preferably 30 J/g or more. The exothermic peak energy ΔHcd under temperature decreasing condition referred herein is measured in such a manner that the polyethylene naphthalate fibers are heated under a nitrogen stream to 320° C. at a temperature increasing condition of 20° C. per minute and maintained in a molten state for 5 minutes, and then the exothermic peak energy is measured with a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) under a nitrogen stream under a temperature decreasing condition of 10° C. per minute. It is considered that the exothermic peak energy ΔHcd under temperature decreasing condition shows crystallization upon decreasing temperature under temperature decreasing condition.

The polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention preferably have an exothermic peak energy ΔHc of from 15 to 50 J/g under temperature increasing condition. It is more preferably from 20 to 50 J/g, and particularly preferably 30 J/g or more. The exothermic peak energy ΔHc under temperature increasing condition referred herein is measured in such a manner that the polyethylene naphthalate fibers are maintained in a molten state at 320° C. for 2 minutes, and then solidified in liquid nitrogen to form a quenched solid polyethylene naphthalate, which is then measured for exothermic peak energy with a differential scanning calorimeter under a nitrogen stream under a temperature increasing condition of 20° C. per minute. It is considered that the exothermic peak energy ΔHc under temperature increasing condition shows crystallization of the polymer constituting the fibers upon increasing temperature under temperature increasing condition. The influence of thermal history upon forming fibers can be reduced by once melting and solidifying by cooling.

In the case where the energy ΔHcd or ΔHc is low, it is not preferred since there is a tendency of lowering the crystallinity. In the case where the energy ΔHcd or ΔHc is too high, there is a tendency of advancing crystallization excessively upon spinning the polyethylene naphthalate fibers and thermally setting the fibers in drawing, which provides a tendency of failing to provide fibers having high strength since the crystal growth impairs the spinning and drawing operations. In the case where the energy ΔHcd or ΔHc is too high, it may induce frequent breakage of the yarn or monofilament upon production.

The polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention preferably contain phosphorus atoms in an amount of from 0.1 to 300 mmol % based on the ethylene naphthalate unit. The content of phosphorus atoms is preferably from 10 to 200 mmol %. This is because the crystallinity can be easily controlled with a phosphorus compound.

The polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention generally contain a metallic element as a catalyst, and the metallic element contained in the fibers is preferably at least one or more metallic element selected from the group of metallic elements of the groups 3 to 12 in the fourth and fifth periods in the periodic table and Mg. In particular, the metallic element contained in the fibers is preferably at least one or more metallic element selected from the group of Zn, Mn, Co and Mg. While the reasons therefor are not clear, the combination use of these metallic elements and a phosphorus compound particularly facilitates provision of amorphous crystals with less fluctuation in crystal volume.

The content of the metallic element is preferably from 10 to 1.000 mmol % based on the ethylene naphthalate unit. The P/M ratio, which is a ratio of the phosphorus element P and the metallic element M, is preferably in a range of from 0.8 to 2.0. In the case where the P/M ratio is too small, the metal concentration becomes excessive to provide a tendency that the excessive metallic component facilitates thermal decomposition of the polymer, thereby impairing the heat stability. In the case where the P/M ratio is too large, on the other hand, the phosphorus compound becomes excessive to provide a tendency that the polymerization reaction of the polyethylene naphthalate polymer is impaired to deteriorate the properties of the fibers. The P/M ratio is more preferably from 0.9 to 1.8.

The polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention preferably have a tenacity of from 4.0 to 10.0 cN/dtex. It is more preferably from 5.0 to 9.0 cN/dtex, and further preferably from 6.0 to 8.0 cN/dtex. There is a tendency of decreasing the durability not only in the case where the tenacity is too low, but also in the case where the tenacity is too high. When the fibers are produced with a high tenacity that is just capable of performing the operation, there is a tendency that the yarn is frequently broken in the yarn making process to provide a problem in quality stability as industrial fibers.

The melting point is preferably from 285 to 315° C. It is optimally from 290 to 310° C. In the case where the melting point is too low, there is a tendency of deteriorating the heat resistance and the dimensional stability. Too high a melting point provides a tendency of making melt-spinning difficult. In the case where the fibers have a high melting point, the heat resistant strength holding ratio of the fibers can be maintained high, and thus the fibers are optimum as reinforcing fibers for a composite material used under a high temperature atmosphere.

It is also preferred that the hot air shrinkage is 0.5% or more and less than 4.0% at 180° C. It is more preferably from 1.0 to 3.5%. In the case where the hot air shrinkage is too high, there is a tendency of increasing dimensional change upon processing, thereby deteriorating the dimensional stability of the molded article using the fibers. The high melting point and the low hot air shrinkage are attained by increasing the crystal volume of the polymer constituting the fibers of the invention.

The polyethylene naphthalate polymer of the invention preferably has a tan δ peak temperature of from 150 to 170° C. Conventional polyethylene naphthalate fibers generally have tan δ around 180° C., but the tan δ value of the polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention shifts to a low temperature through high orientation and crystallization, thereby exhibiting advantageous characteristics in fatigue resistance as rubber reinforcing fibers, such as tire and the like.

The modulus at a high temperature condition is preferably high. For example, the ratio E′ (200° C.)/E′ (20° C.) of the modulus at 200° C. E′ (200° C.) and the modulus at 20° C. E′ (20° C.) is preferably from 0.25 to 0.5. The ratio E′ (100° C.)/E′ (20° C.) of the modulus at 100° C. E′ (100° C.) and the modulus at 20° C. E′ (20° C.) is preferably from 0.7 to 0.9. When the modulus at a high temperature is increased, the dimensional stability at a high temperature can be maintained to a significantly high level.

The polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention preferably have an intrinsic viscosity IVf in a range of from 0.6 to 1.0. When the intrinsic viscosity is too low, it is difficult to provide the polyethylene naphthalate fibers that have high tenacity and high modulus and are excellent in dimensional stability, which are intended in the invention. In the case where the intrinsic viscosity is unnecessarily high, on the other hand, the yarn is frequently broken in the yarn making process to make industrial production difficult. The intrinsic viscosity IVf of the polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention is particularly preferably in a range of from 0.7 to 0.9.

The polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention preferably have a birefringence (ΔnDY) in a range of from 0.15 to 0.35, and a density (ρDY) of from 1.350 to 1.370. In the case where the birefringence (ΔnDY) and the density (ρDY) are small, a fiber structure that is sufficiently grown is not formed to provide a tendency of failing to provide the heat resistance and the dimensional stability that are intended in the invention. In the case where the birefringence (ΔnDY) and the density (ρDY) are excessively increased, it is necessary to employ such a condition that the draw ratio is increased near the breaking draw ratio in the production process, thereby providing a tendency of failing to provide stable fibers due to frequent breakage of the yarn. The polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention more preferably have a birefringence (ΔnDY) in a range of from 0.18 to 0.32, and a density (ρDY) of from 1.355 to 1.365.

The filament fineness of the polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention is not particularly limited and is preferably from 0.1 to 100 dtex per filament from the standpoint of yarn making property. It is particularly preferably from 1 to 20 dtex per filament from the standpoint of tenacity, heat resistance and adhesion property as a tire cord, rubber reinforcing fibers for a V-belt and the like, and fibers for industrial materials.

The total fineness thereof is also not particularly limited and is preferably from 10 to 10,000 dtex, and particularly preferably from 250 to 6,000 dtex as a tire cord, rubber reinforcing fibers for a V-belt and the like, and fibers for industrial materials. As for the total fineness, from 2 to 10 yarn bundles may be preferably combined during spinning or drawing or after spinning or drawing, for example, two yarn bundles each having 1,000 dtex may be combined to provide a total fineness of 2,000 dtex.

The polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention may be preferably in the form of a cord, which is formed by twisting the polyethylene naphthalate fibers as multifilament. Upon twisting the fibers as multifilament, the utilization factors of strength are averaged to improve the fatigue resistance thereof. The number of twisting is preferably in a range of from 50 to 1,000 turn/m, and a cord obtained by combining yarn bundles having been twisted as multifilament and then twisted in the opposite direction as plural filaments is also preferred. The number of the filaments constituting the yarn before combining is preferably from 50 to 3,000. The use of the multifilament enhances the fatigue resistance and the flexibility. In the case where the fineness is too small, there is a tendency of making the strength insufficient. In the case where the fineness is too large, there is a tendency of causing a problem of failing to provide flexibility due to too large thickness, and agglutination among monofilaments occurs upon spinning, thereby being difficult to produce the fibers stably.

The polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention having the aforementioned characteristics have a higher melting point than conventional polyethylene naphthalate fibers and can be used as reinforcing fibers that are capable of exhibiting capabilities sufficiently under high temperature conditions. In particular, the fibers are optimum as rubber reinforcing fibers that are required to have durability at a high temperature.

The polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention can be produced by the method for producing polyethylene naphthalate fibers according to another aspect of the invention for example. Specifically, the method for producing polyethylene naphthalate fibers contains melting a polymer having ethylene naphthalate as a major repeating unit, and discharging the polymer from a spinneret, in which at least one of a phosphorus compound represented by the following formula (I) or (II) is added to the polymer in a molten state, which is then discharged from the spinneret, with a spinning draft ratio after discharging from the spinneret of from 100 to 5,000, and the molten polymer immediately after discharging from the spinneret is allowed to pass through a heat-retaining spinning chimney at a temperature within ±50° C. of a temperature of the molten polymer, and is drawn:


[wherein R1 represents an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 1 to 20 carbon atoms; R2 represents a hydrogen atom, or an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 1 to 20 carbon atoms; and X represents a hydrogen atom or a —OR3 group, wherein when X represents a —OR3 group, R3 represents a hydrogen atom, or an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 1 to 12 carbon atoms, provided that R2 and R3 may be the same as or different from each other,]


[wherein R4 to R6 each represent an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 4 to 18 carbon atoms, provided that R4 to R6 may be the same as or different from each other.]

The polymer having ethylene naphthalate as a major repeating unit used in the invention is preferably polyethylene naphthalate containing an ethylene-2,6-naphthalate unit in an amount of 80% or more, and particularly 90% or more. The polymer may be a copolymer containing a suitable third component in a small amount.

Examples of the suitable third component include (a) a compound having two ester-forming functional groups and (b) a compound having one ester-forming functional group, and also include (c) a compound having three or more ester-forming functional groups and the like in such a range that the polymer is substantially in a linear form. It goes without saying that the polyethylene naphthalate may contain various kinds of additives.

The polyester of the invention can be produced according to a production method of polyester having been known in the art. Specifically, a dialkyl ester of 2,6-naphthalenedicarboxylic acid, represented by napthalene-2,6-dimethyl carboxylate (NDC), as an acid component and ethylene glycol as a glycol component are subjected to ester exchange reaction, and then the reaction product is heated under reduced pressure to perform polycondensation while removing an excessive diol, thereby producing the polyester. In alternative, 2,6-naphthalenedicarboxylic acid as an acid component and ethylene glycol as a diol component are subjected to esterification, thereby producing the polyester by a direct polymerization method having been known in the art.

The ester exchange catalyst used in the case where the ester exchange reaction is utilized is not particularly limited, and examples thereof include compounds of manganese, magnesium, titanium, zinc, aluminum, calcium, cobalt, sodium, lithium and lead. Examples of the compounds include an oxide, an acetate salt, a carboxylate salt, a hydride, an alcoholate, a halide, a carbonate salt, a sulfate salt and the like of manganese, magnesium, titanium, zinc, aluminum, calcium, cobalt, sodium, lithium and lead.

Among these, compounds of manganese, magnesium, zinc, titanium, sodium and lithium are preferred from the standpoint of melt stability, hue, decrease of polymer-insoluble matters and stability upon spinning, and compounds of manganese, magnesium and zinc are more preferred. The compounds may be used in combination of two or more kinds thereof.

The polymerization catalyst is not particularly limited, and examples thereof include compounds of antimony, titanium, germanium, aluminum, zirconium and tin. Examples of the compounds include an oxide, an acetate salt, a carboxylate salt, a hydride, an alcoholate, a halide, a carbonate salt, a sulfate salt and the like of antimony, titanium, germanium, aluminum, zirconium and tin. The compounds may be used in combination of two or more kinds thereof.

Among these, an antimony compound is particularly preferred since the polyester is excellent in polymerization activity, solid state polymerization activity, melt stability and hue, and the resulting fibers have high strength and exhibit excellent spinning property and drawing property.

In the invention, the polymer is melted and discharged from a spinneret to form fibers, and it is necessary that at least one of a phosphorus compound represented by the following formula (I) or (II) is added to the polymer in a molten state, and the polymer is then discharged from the spinneret:


[wherein R1 represents an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 1 to 20 carbon atoms; R2 represents a hydrogen atom, or an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 1 to 20 carbon atoms; and X represents a hydrogen atom or a —OR3 group, wherein when X represents a —OR3 group, R3 represents a hydrogen atom, or an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 1 to 12 carbon atoms, provided that R2 and R3 may be the same as or different from each other,]


[wherein R4 to R6 each represent an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 4 to 18 carbon atoms, provided that R4 to R6 may be the same as or different from each other.]

The alkyl group, the aryl group and the benzyl group used in the formulae may be substituted groups. R1 and R2 each are preferably a hydrocarbon group having from 1 to 12 carbon atoms.

Preferred examples of the compound of the general formula (I) include phenylphosphonic acid, monomethyl phenylphosphonate, monoethyl phenylphosphonate, monopropyl phenylphosphonate, monophenyl phenylphosphonate, monobenzyl phenylphosphonate, (2-hydroxyethyl)phenylphosphonate, 2-naphthylphosphonic acid, 1-naphtylphosphonic acid, 2-anthrylphosphonic acid, 1-anthrylphosphonic acid, 4-biphenylphosphonic acid, 4-methylphenylphosphonic acid, 4-methoxyphenylphosphonic acid, phenylphosphinic acid, methyl phenylphosphinate, ethyl phenylphosphinate, propyl phenylphosphinate, phenyl phenylphosphinate, benzyl phenylphosphinate, (2-hydroxyethyl)phenylphosphinate, 2-naphthylphosphinic acid, 1-naphthylphosphinic acid, 2-anthrylphosphinic acid, 1-anthrylphosphinic acid, 4-biphenylphosphinic acid, 4-methylphenylphosphinic acid, 4-methoxyphenylphosphinic acid and the like.

Examples of the compound of the general formula (II) include (2,4-di-tert-butylphenyl)pentaerythritol diphosphite, bis(2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methylphenyl)pentaerythritol diphosphite, tris(2,4-di-tert-butylphenyl) phosphite and the like. In the compound of the general formula (I), it is preferred that R1 represents an aryl group, R2 represents a hydrogen atom, or an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group, and R3 represents a hydrogen atom or a —OH group.

Specifically, particularly preferred examples of the phosphorus compound used in the invention include a compound represented by the following general formula (I′):


[wherein Ar represents an aryl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 6 to 20 carbon atoms; R2 represents a hydrogen atom, or an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 1 to 20 carbon atoms; and Y represents a hydrogen atom or a —OH group.]

The hydrocarbon group represented by R2 used in the formula is preferably an alkyl group, an aryl group or a benzyl group, which may be substituted or unsubstituted. The substituent on R2 is preferably one that does not disturb the steric conformation, and examples of the group include those substituted with a hydroxyl group, an ester group, an alkoxy group or the like. The aryl group represented by Ar in the formula (I′) may be substituted, for example, with an alkyl group, an aryl group, a benzyl group, an alkylene group, a hydroxyl group, a halogen atom or the like.

Further preferred examples of the phosphorus compound used in the invention include a phenylphosphonic acid represented by the following general formula (III) and a derivative thereof:


[wherein Ar represents an aryl group as a hydrocarbon group having from 6 to 20 carbon atoms; and R7 represents a hydrogen atom or an unsubstituted or substituted hydrocarbon group having from 1 to 20 carbon atoms.]

In the invention, the particular phosphorus compound is added directly to the molten polymer, whereby the crystallinity of the polyethylene naphthalate is increased, and the polyethylene naphthalate fibers having a large crystal volume can be obtained while maintaining the high crystallinity under the subsequent production conditions. It is considered that this is because the particular phosphorus compound suppresses growth of coarse crystals formed in the spinning and drawing steps to disperse the crystals finely. It has been very difficult to spin polyethylene naphthalate fibers at a high speed, but the addition of the phosphorus compound considerably improves the spinning stability and increases the practical draw ratio through prevention of a yarn break, thereby enhancing the strength of the fibers.

Examples of the hydrocarbon groups represented by R1 to R7 in the formulae include an alkyl group, an aryl group, a diphenyl group, a benzyl group, an alkylene group and an arylene group. These groups are preferably substituted, for example, with a hydroxyl group, an ester group or an alkoxy group.

Preferred examples of the hydrocarbon group substituted with the substituent include the following functional groups and isomers thereof:
—(CH2)n—OH
—(CH2)n—OCH3
—(CH2)n—OPh
-Ph-OH(Ph: aromatic ring)
[wherein n represents an integer of from 1 to 10.]

Among these, for increasing the crystallinity, the phosphorus compound of the general formula (I) is preferred, the general formula (I′) is more preferred, and the general formula (III) is particularly preferred.

For preventing scatter in vacuum during the process, with reference to the formula (I) for example, the carbon number of R1 is preferably 4 or more, and more preferably 6 or more, and is particularly preferably an aryl group. In alternative, for example, the general formula (I′) wherein X is a hydrogen atom or a hydroxyl group is preferred. Scatter in vacuum during the process can be suppressed in the case where X is a hydrogen atom or a hydroxyl group.

For enhancing the effect of increasing the crystallinity, R1 is preferably an aryl group, and more preferably a benzyl group or a phenyl group, and in the production method of the invention, the phosphorus compound is particularly preferably phenylphosphinic acid or phenylphosphonic acid. Among these, phenylphosphonic acid and a derivative thereof are optimally used, and phenylphosphonic acid is most preferred from the standpoint of workability. Phenylphosphonic acid has a hydroxyl group and thus has a higher boiling point than an alkyl ester, such as dimethyl phosphonate, having no hydroxyl group, thereby providing an advantage that the compound is difficult to be scattered in vacuum. Specifically, the amount of the added phosphorus compound remaining in the polyester is increased to enhance the effect per addition amount. It is also advantageous since the vacuum system is difficult to be clogged.

The addition amount of the phosphorus compound used in the invention is preferably from 0.1 to 300 mmol % based on the molar number of the dicarboxylic acid component constituting the polyester. In the case where the amount of the phosphorus compound is insufficient, there is a tendency that the effect of increasing the crystallinity is insufficient, and in the case where it is too large, there is a tendency that the yarn producing property is decreased due to occurrence of defects with foreign matters upon spinning. The content of the phosphorus compound is more preferably from 1 to 100 mmol %, and further preferably from 10 to 80 mmol %, based on the molar number of the dicarboxylic acid component constituting the polyester.

Along with the phosphorus compound, at least one or more metallic element selected from the group of metallic elements of the groups 3 to 12 in the fourth and fifth periods in the periodic table and Mg is preferably added to the molten polymer. In particular, the metallic element contained in the fibers is preferably at least one or more metallic element selected from the group of Zn, Mn, Co and Mg. While the reasons therefor are not clear, the combination use of the metallic element and the phosphorus compound facilitates provision of homogeneous crystals with less fluctuation in crystal volume. The metallic element may be added as the ester exchange catalyst or the polymerization catalyst, or may be added separately.

The content of the metallic element is preferably from 10 to 1.000 mmol % based on the ethylene naphthalate unit. The P/M ratio, which is a ratio of the phosphorus element P and the metallic element M, is preferably in a range of from 0.8 to 2.0. In the case where the P/M ratio is too small, the metal concentration becomes excessive to provide a tendency that the excessive metallic component facilitates thermal decomposition of the polymer, thereby impairing the heat stability. In the case where the P/M ratio is too large, on the other hand, the phosphorus compound becomes excessive to provide a tendency that the polymerization reaction of the polyethylene naphthalate polymer is impaired to deteriorate the properties of the fibers. The P/M ratio is more preferably from 0.9 to 1.8.

The addition timing of the phosphorus compound used in the invention is not particularly limited, and it may be added in an arbitrary step during production of the polyester. It is preferably added between the initial stage of the ester exchange reaction or the esterification reaction and the completion of polymerization. For forming further homogeneous crystals, it is more preferably added between the time when the ester exchange reaction or the esterification reaction is completed and the time when the polymerization reaction is completed.

Such a method may also be employed that the phosphorus compound is kneaded into the polyester with a kneader after polymerization. The method for kneading is not particularly limited, and an ordinary single axis or double axis kneader is preferably used. It is more preferred that a method using a vent type single axis or double axis kneader can be exemplified for controlling decrease of the polymerization degree of the resulting polyester composition.

The conditions for kneading are not particularly limited and are, for example, a temperature of the melting point of the polyester or higher and a residence time of 1 hour or less, and preferably from 1 to 30 minutes. The method for feeding the phosphorus compound and the polyester to the kneader is not particularly limited. Examples of the method include a method of feeding the phosphorus compound and the polyester separately to the kneader, a method of mixing master chips containing the phosphorus compound in a high concentration with the polyester, and feeding the mixture, and the like. Upon adding the particular phosphorus compound used in the invention to the molten polymer, it is preferred that the compound is added directly to the polyester polymer without reaction with other compounds in advance. This is because a reaction product is prevented from being formed by reacting the phosphorus compound with another compound, such as a titanium compound, in advance since it forms coarse particles, which induce structural defects and disturbance of crystals in the polyester polymer.

The polyethylene naphthalate polymer used in the invention preferably has an intrinsic viscosity in a range of from 0.65 to 1.2 as resin chips by performing known molten polymerization or solid state polymerization. In the case where the intrinsic viscosity of the resin chips is too low, it is difficult to increase the strength of the fiber after melt-spinning. In the case where the intrinsic viscosity is too high, it is not preferred from the industrial standpoint since the solid state polymerization time is largely increased to deteriorate the production efficiency. The intrinsic viscosity is more preferably in a range of from 0.7 to 1.0.

In the method for producing polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention, it is necessary that the polyethylene naphthalate polymer is melted and discharged from the spinneret with a spinning draft ratio after discharging from the spinneret of from 100 to 5,000, and the molten polymer immediately after discharging from the spinneret is allowed to pass through a heat-retaining spinning chimney set at a temperature within ±50° C. of a temperature of the molten polymer, and is drawn.

The temperature of the polyethylene naphthalate polymer upon melting is preferably from 285 to 335° C., and more preferably from 290 to 330° C. The spinneret is generally one equipped with a capillary.

The spinning operation is necessarily performed at a spinning draft of from 100 to 5,000, and preferably performed under a draft condition of from 500 to 3,000. The spinning draft is defined as a ratio of the spinning winding speed (spinning speed) and the spinning discharge linear velocity and is shown by the following expression (2):
spinning draft=πD 2 V/4W  (2)
(wherein D represents the bore diameter of the spinneret, V represents the spinning drawing speed, and W represents the volume discharge amount per one pore.)

The crystal volume and the crystallinity of the polymer can be increased by increasing the spinning draft ratio.

For achieving the high draft ratio, the spinning speed is preferably large, and the spinning speed in the production method of the invention is preferably from 1,500 to 6,000 m/min, and more preferably from 2,000 to 5,000 m/min.

In the production method of the invention, it is a necessary condition that the molten polymer immediately after discharging from the spinneret is allowed to pass through a heat-retaining spinning chimney set at a temperature within ±50° C. of the temperature of the molten polymer. The set temperature of the heat-retaining spinning chimney is preferably the temperature of the molten polymer or lower. The heat-retaining spinning chimney preferably has a length of from 10 to 300 mm, and more preferably from 30 to 150 mm. The period of time where the polymer is allowed to pass the heat-retaining spinning chimney is preferably 0.2 second or more.

In the case where the high draft condition as in the invention is employed in an ordinary method for producing polyethylene naphthalate fibers, a heated spinning chimney at a temperature that is higher than the temperature of the molten polymer by several tens degrees. This is because a polyethylene naphthalate polymer, which is a rigid polymer, is liable to be oriented immediately after discharging from the spinneret to undergo breakage of monofilament, and therefore, it is necessarily subjected to delayed cooling with the heated spinning chimney. In the case where the temperature of the spinning chimney is close to the temperature of the molten polymer, the molten polymer is not in the delayed cooling condition since the speed of the discharged polymer is high.

In the production method of the invention, however, it is possible that the addition of the particular phosphorus compound forms fine crystals to provide a homogeneous structure with the same orientation degree. Owing to the homogeneous structure, breakage of monofilament does not occur without using the heat-retaining spinning chimney to ensure high spinning property. The use of the heat-retaining spinning chimney at a low temperature effectively increases the crystal volume of the polyethylene naphthalate fibers. This is because vigorous molecular motion occurs in the polymer with a spinning chimney at a high temperature to prevent large crystals from growing. Accordingly, the large crystal volume effectively enhances the melting point and the thermal fatigue resistance of the resulting fibers.

The spun yarn having been passed through the heat-retaining spinning chimney is preferably cooled by blowing cold air at 30° C. or lower. The cold air is preferably at 25° C. or lower. The blowing amount of the cold air is preferably from 2 to 10 Nm3/min, and the blowing length thereof is preferably about from 100 to 500 mm. The cooled yarn is then preferably coated with finish oil.

The undrawn yarn thus spun preferably has a birefringence (ΔnUD) of from 0.10 to 0.28, and a density (ρUD) of from 1.345 to 1.365. In the case where the birefringence (ΔnUD) and the density (ρUD) are small, there is a tendency that the orientation crystallization of the fibers in the spinning step is insufficient, thereby failing to provide heat resistance and excellent dimensional stability. In the case where the birefringence (ΔnUD) and the density (ρUD) are excessively increased, on the other hand, it can be expected that there is a tendency that coarse crystals are formed in the spinning step, thereby impairing the spinning property and causing frequent breakage of the yarn, to provide a tendency of becoming production substantially difficult. Furthermore, the subsequent drawing property is also impaired to provide a tendency that fibers with high properties are difficult to be produced. The spun undrawn yarn more preferably has a birefringence (ΔnUD) in a range of from 0.11 to 0.26, and a density (ρUD) of from 1.350 to 1.360.

The invention is characterized by spinning with a high draft ratio. When spinning is performed at an ordinary draft ratio, the crystal volume and the melting point are lowered, thereby failing to provide high dimensional stability that is obtained in the invention. Even by spinning with a high draft ratio, when the delayed cooling is performed with a heated spinning chimney, the crystal volume and the melting point are similarly lowered, thereby failing to provide high dimensional stability that is obtained by using the heat-retaining spinning chimney in the invention.

In the method for producing polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention, thereafter, the yarn is drawn. In the invention, the fibers having homogeneous crystals are spun with a high draft ratio, whereby the yarn can be effectively prevented from being broken. Accordingly, fibers having a large crystal volume can be obtained while the degree of crystallization is high. Upon drawing, the yarn may be drawn by a so-called separate drawing method, in which the yarn is once wound from a pickup roller and then drawn, or in alternative by a so-called direct drawing method, in which the undrawn yarn is fed from a pickup roller continuously to the drawing step. The drawing condition may be one-step or multi-step drawing, and the drawing load ratio is preferably from 60 to 95%. The drawing load ratio is a ratio of the tension upon drawing to the tension, at which the fibers are actually broken. The crystal volume and the degree of crystallization can be effectively increased by increasing the draw ratio or the drawing load ratio.

The preheating temperature upon drawing is preferably a temperature that is equal to or higher than the glass transition point of the polyethylene naphthalate undrawn yarn and is equal to or lower than a temperature lower than the crystallization starting temperature thereof by 20° C. or more, and is suitably from 120 to 160° C. in the invention. The draw ratio depends on the spinning speed and is preferably such a draw ratio that provides a drawing load ratio of from 60 to 95% based on the breaking draw ratio. For enhancing the dimensional stability while maintaining the strength of the fibers, the fibers are preferably thermally set at a temperature of from 170° C. to the melting point of the fibers or lower at drawing step. The thermally setting temperature upon drawing is further preferably from 170 to 270° C. By thermally setting at such a high temperature, the draw ratio can be effectively increased to increase the crystal volume.

In the production method of the invention, the use of the particular phosphorus compound enables employment of the high draft ratio and the cooling condition with the heat-retaining spinning chimney, whereby fibers having high dimensional stability and fatigue resistance can be obtained even with the production method having high spinning property. In the case where the particular phosphorus compound of the invention is not used, it is necessary for spinning to decrease the draft ratio or to perform delayed cooling with a heated spinning chimney, thereby failing to provide fibers having high melting point and being excellent in dimensional stability and fatigue resistance as in the invention.

The polyethylene naphthalate fibers obtained with the method for producing polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention has a large crystal volume and simultaneously achieves a high degree of crystallization, and thus the fibers have high melting point and high dimensional stability along with high strength, and also satisfy excellent fatigue resistance.

In the method for producing polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention, the resulting fibers may be twisted or combined to provide a desired fiber cord. The surface thereof is preferably coated with an adhesion treating agent. The adhesion treating agent is preferably an RFL adhesion treating agent for the purpose of reinforcing rubber.

More specifically, the fiber cord can be obtained in such a manner that the polyethylene naphthalate fibers are or are not twisted by an ordinary method, and are applied with an RFL treating agent and subjected to a heat treatment, and thus the fibers can be formed into a treated cord that is favorably used for reinforcing rubber.

The polyethylene naphthalate fibers for an industrial material thus obtained can be combined with a polymer to form into a fiber-polymer composite material. The polymer herein is preferably a rubber elastic material. The composite material is considerably excellent in molding property since the polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention used for reinforcing are excellent in heat resistance and dimensional stability. In particular, the advantages of the polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention become significant in the case where the fibers are used for reinforcing rubber, and thus the fibers are favorably used for a tire, a belt, a hose and the like.

In the case where the polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention are used as a cord for reinforcing rubber, the following method, for example, may be employed. That is, the polyethylene naphthalate fibers are combined and twisted at a twisting coefficient K=T·D1/2 (wherein T represents the number of twisting per 10 cm, and D represents the fineness of the twisted cord) of from 990 to 2,500 to form a twisted cord, and the cord is subjected to an adhesive treatment and subsequently to a treatment at from 230 to 270° C.

The treated cord obtained from the polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention has a strength of from 80 to 180 N and a dimensional stability coefficient of 4.5% or less, which is expressed by the sum of the elongation at a stress of 2 cN/dtex (EASL (Elongation at Specific Load)) and the hot air shrinkage at 180° C., and thus such a treated cord can be obtained that has a high modulus, is excellent in heat resistance and dimensional stability, and has high fatigue resistance. The dimensional stability coefficient herein means that a lower value thereof provides a high modulus and a low hot air shrinkage. The treated cord obtained from the polyethylene naphthalate fibers of the invention more preferably has a strength of from 100 to 160 N and a dimensional stability coefficient of from 3.5 to 4.5%.

EXAMPLE

The invention will be described in more detail with reference to examples below, but the invention is not limited thereto. The characteristic values in the examples and comparative examples were measured in the following manners.

(1) Intrinsic Viscosity IVf

A resin or fibers are dissolved in a mixed solvent of phenol and o-dichlorobenzene (volume ratio: 6/4) and measured therefor with an Ostwald viscometer at 35° C.

(2) Tenacity, Elongation and EASL (Elongation at Specific Load)

These were measured according to JIS L1013. The EASL (Elongation at Specific Load) of the fibers was obtained from the elongation at a stress of 4 cN/dtex. The EASL (Elongation at Specific Load) of the fiber cord was obtained from the elongation at a stress of 44 N.

(3) Hot Air Shrinkage

A shrinkage rate at 180° C. for 30 minutes was measured according to the method B (filament shrinkage rate) of JIS L1013.

(4) Specific Gravity and Degree of Crystallization

The specific gravity was measured with a carbon tetrachloride/n-heptane density gradient tube at 25° C. The degree of crystallization was obtained from the resulting specific gravity according to the following expression (1).
degree of crystallization Xc={ρc(ρ−ρa)/ρ(ρc−ρa)}×100  (1)
wherein
ρ: specific gravity of polyethylene naphthalate fibers
ρa: 1.325 (perfect amorphous density of polyethylene naphthalate)
ρc: 1.407 (perfect crystal density of polyethylene naphthalate)
(5) Birefringence (Δn)

It was obtained by using bromonaphtalene as an immersion liquid with a Bereck compensator according to a retardation method (see Kobunshi Jikken Kagaku Kouza, Kobunshi Bussei 11 (Course of Polymer Experimental Chemistry, Properties of Polymer 11), published by Kyoritsu Shuppan Co., Ltd.).

(6) Crystal Volume and Maximum Peak Diffraction Angle

The crystal volume and the maximum peak diffraction angle of the fibers were obtained with D8 DISCOVER with GADDS Super Speed, produced by Bruker Japan Co., Ltd. according to the wide angle X-ray diffraction method.

The crystal volume was calculated from the half value widths of the diffraction peak intensities with 2Θ appearing at diffraction angles of from 15 to 16°, from 23 to 25°, and from 22.5 to 27° in the wide angle X-ray diffraction of the fibers according to the Feller's equation:

D = 0.94 × λ180 π × ( B - 1 ) × cos Θ ( 3 )
(wherein D represents the crystal size, B represents the half value width of the diffraction peak intensity, Θ represents the diffraction angle, and λ represents the wavelength of X-ray (0.154178 nm=1.54178 Å)), and the crystal volume per one unit crystal was obtained by the following expression:
crystal volume(nm 3)=crystal size(2Θ=15-16°)×crystal size(2Θ=23-25°)×crystal size(2Θ=25.5-27°)

The maximum peak diffraction angle was obtained as the diffraction angle of the peak having the largest intensity in the wide angle X-ray diffraction.

(7) Melting Point Tm and Exothermic Peak Energy ΔHcd and ΔHc

10 mg of the fibers as a specimen was heated to 320° C. at a temperature increasing condition of 20° C. per minute under a nitrogen stream with a differential scanning calorimeter, Model Q10, produced by TA Instruments Co., Ltd., and the temperature of the endothermic peak appearing was designated as the melting point Tm.

Subsequently, the fiber specimen melted by retaining at 320° C. for 2 minutes was measured under a temperature decreasing condition of 10° C. per minute to measure an exothermic peak appearing, and the temperature of the apex of the exothermic peak was designated as Tcd. The energy was calculated from the peak area and was designated as ΔHcd (exothermic peak energy under a temperature decreasing condition of 10° C. per minute under a nitrogen stream).

Separately, the fiber specimen after measuring the melting point Tm was melted by retaining at 320° C. for 2 minutes, solidified by quenching in liquid nitrogen, and then measured for exothermic peak appearing under a temperature increasing condition of 20° C. per minute, and the temperature of the apex of the exothermic peak was designated as Tc. The energy was calculated from the peak area and was designated as ΔHc (exothermic peak energy under a temperature increasing condition of 20° C. per minute under a nitrogen stream).

(8) Spinning Property

The spinning property was evaluated by the following four grades from the number of occurrence of yarn breaks per 1 ton of polyethylene naphthalate in the spinning step or the drawing step.

+++: number of occurrence of yarn breaks of from 0 to 2 per 1 ton

++: number of occurrence of yarn breaks of from 3 to 5 per 1 ton

+: number of occurrence of yarn breaks of 6 or more per 1 ton

−: unable to spin

(9) Production of Treated Cord

The fibers were applied with Z-twisting of 490 turns per meter, and two resulting yarn bundles were applied with S-twisting of 490 turns per meter to provide a raw cord of 1,100 dtex×2. The raw cord was immersed in an adhesive (RFL) liquid and subjected to a heat treatment under tension at 240° C. for 2 minutes.

(10) Dimensional Stability Coefficient

The treated cord was measured for an EASL (Elongation at Specific Load) under a load of 44 N and a hot air shrinkage at 180° C. in the similar manner as in the items (2) and (3), and the values obtained were summed.
dimensional stability coefficient of treated cord(%)=44 N EASL of treated cord(%)+180° C. hot air shrinkage(%)
(11) Heat Resistant Strength Holding Ratio

The treated cord was embedded in a vulcanizing mold, and after vulcanizing at 180° C. under a pressure of 50 kg/cm2 for 180 minutes, the treated cord was taken out and measured for strength, which was then compared to the treated cord before vulcanization to provide the strength holding ratio.

(12) Tube Life Fatigue

A tube was produced with the resulting treated cord and rubber, and measured for the period of time until the tube was broken by the method according to JIS L1017, appendix 1, 2.2.1 “Tube Life Fatigue”. The test angle was 85°.

(13) Disc Fatigue

A composite material was produced with the resulting treated cord and rubber, and measured by the method according to JIS L1017, appendix 1, 2.2.2 “Disc Fatigue”. The measurement was performed with a stretching ratio of 5.0% and a compression ratio of 5.0%, and the strength holding ratio after continuous operation for 24 hours was obtained.

Example 1

A mixture of 100 parts by weight of dimethyl 2,6-naphthalenedicarboxylate and 50 parts by weight of ethylene glycol, 0.030 part by weight of manganese acetate tetrahydrate and 0.0056 part by weight of sodium acetate trihydrate were charged in a reactor equipped with an agitator, a distillation column and a condenser for distilling methanol, and ester exchange reaction was performed while the temperature was gradually increased from 150° C. to 245° C. with methanol formed through reaction being distilled off. Before completing the ester exchange reaction, subsequently, 0.03 part by weight (50 mmol %) of phenylphosphonic acid (PPA) was added thereto. Thereafter, 0.024 part by weight of diantimony trioxide was added to the reaction product, which was transferred to a reactor equipped with an agitator, a nitrogen introducing port, a depressurizing port and a distillation device, and heated to 305° C. to perform polycondensation reaction under high vacuum of 30 Pa or less, thereby providing chips of a polyethylene naphthalate resin having an intrinsic viscosity of 0.62 according to an ordinary method. The chips were preliminarily dried under vacuum of 65 Pa at 120° C. for 2 hours and then subjected to solid state polymerization under the same vacuum condition at 240° C. for from 10 to 13 hours, thereby providing chips of a polyethylene naphthalate resin having an intrinsic viscosity of 0.74.

The chips were discharged from a spinneret having a number of pores of 249, a pore diameter of 0.7 mm and a land length of 3.5 mm at a polymer temperature of 310° C., and spun under conditions of a spinning speed of 2,500 m/min and a spinning draft of 962. The yarn thus spun was allowed to pass through a heat-retaining spinning chimney having a length of 50 mm and an atmospheric temperature of 330° C., which was disposed immediately beneath the spinneret, and then cooled by blowing cooling air at 25° C. at a flow rate of 6.5 Nm3/min over a length of 450 mm immediately beneath the heat-retaining spinning chimney. Thereafter, the yarn was coated with finish oil that was fed in a prescribed amount with finish oil coating device, and the yarn was then introduced to a drawing roller and wound with a winder.

The undrawn yarn was obtained with favorable spinning property without breakage of the yarn or monofilament, and the undrawn yarn had an intrinsic viscosity IVf of 0.70, a birefringence (ΔnUD) of 0.179 and a density (ρUD) of 1.357.

The undrawn yarn was then drawn in the following manner. The draw ratio was set to provide a drawing load ratio of 92% with respect to the breaking draw ratio.

Specifically, the undrawn yarn was applied to prestretching of 1%, subjected to the first step drawing between a heating and feeding roller at 150° C. rotating at a circumferential velocity of 130 m/min and a first step draw roller, then subjected to the second step drawing by allowing to pass through a non-contact setting bath (length: 70 cm) heated to 230° C. for performing constant-length thermal setting between the first step draw roller heated to 180° C. and the second step draw roller heated to 180° C., and wound with a winder. The total draw ratio (TDR) was 1.08, and favorable spinning property was obtained without breakage of yarn or monofilament. The production conditions are shown in Table 1.

The resulting drawn yarn had a fineness of 1,080 dtex, a crystal volume of 952 nm3 (952,000 Å3) and a degree of crystallization of 47%. The drawn yarn had ΔHc and ΔHcd of 38 J/g and 35 J/g, respectively, which indicated high crystallinity. The resulting polyethylene naphthalate fibers had a tenacity of 7.4 cN/dtex, hot air shrinkage of 2.6% at 180° C. and a melting point of 297° C., which indicated excellence in high heat resistance and low contraction property.

The resulting yarn was applied with Z-twisting of 490 turns per meter, and two yarn bundles were applied with S-twisting of 490 turns per meter to provide a raw cord of 1,100 dtex×2. The raw cord was immersed in an adhesive (RFL) liquid and subjected to a heat treatment under tension at 240° C. for 2 minutes. The resulting treated cord had a strength of 123 N, a dimensional stability coefficient of 4.0% and a heat resistant strength holding ratio of 93%, which indicated excellent dimensional stability and heat resistance. The resulting properties are shown in Tables 3 and 5.

Comparative Example 1

Chips of a polyethylene naphthalate resin (intrinsic viscosity: 0.75) were obtained in the same manner as in Example 1 except that 40 mmol % of orthophosphoric acid was added instead of phenylphosphonic acid (PPA), which was the phosphorus compound, before completing the ester exchange reaction in the polymerization of polyethylene 2,6-naphthalate. The resin chips were subjected to melt spinning in the same manner as in Example 1, but were not able to spin satisfactorily due to frequent occurrence of breakage of the yarn upon spinning, and only wide angle X-ray diffraction was able to be performed. The production conditions are shown in Tables 1 and 2.

Example 2

The spinning speed in Example 1 was changed from 2,500 m/min to 4,750 m/min, i.e., the spinning draft ratio was changed from 962 to 1,251, and other conditions were also changed. Specifically, the bore diameter of the spinneret was changed from 0.7 mm to 0.8 mm for conforming the fineness of the resulting fibers, the temperature of the heat-retaining spinning chimney immediately beneath the spinneret was changed to 260° C., which was lower than the melting point of the molten polymer, and the length thereof was changed to 100 mm, thereby providing an undrawn yarn. The subsequent draw ratio was changed from 1.08 times in Example 1 to 1.05 times to provide a drawn yarn. The yarn was able to be produced while there was slight difficulty in spinning property.

The resulting drawn yarn had a crystal volume of 781 nm3 (781,000 Å3) and a degree of crystallization of 47%. The resulting polyethylene naphthalate fibers had a tenacity of 7.2 cN/dtex, hot air shrinkage of 2.7% at 180° C. and a melting point of 298° C., which indicated excellence in high heat resistance and low contraction property.

The drawn yarn was formed into a treated cord in the same manner as in Example 1. The production conditions are shown in Table 1, and the resulting properties are shown in Tables 3 and 5.

Example 3

Polyethylene naphthalate fibers and a cord using the fibers were produced in the same manner as in Example 2 except that the length of the heat-retaining spinning chimney immediately beneath the spinneret in Example 2 was prolonged to 135 mm, and the temperature thereof was changed from 230° C. to 280° C.

The resulting fibers were excellent in high heat resistance and low contraction property. The fibers had favorable spinning property without breakage of yarn.

The production conditions are shown in Table 1, and the resulting properties are shown in Tables 3 and 5.

Example 4

Polyethylene naphthalate fibers and a cord using the fibers were produced in the same manner as in Example 3 except that the length of the heat-retaining spinning chimney immediately beneath the spinneret in Example 3 was prolonged to 250 mm.

The resulting fibers were excellent in high heat resistance and low contraction property. The fibers had favorable spinning property without breakage of yarn.

The production conditions are shown in Table 1, and the resulting properties are shown in Tables 3 and 5.

Comparative Examples 2 to 4

Chips of a polyethylene naphthalate resin (intrinsic viscosity: 0.75) were obtained in the same manner as in Examples 2 to 4 except that 40 mmol % of orthophosphoric acid was added instead of phenylphosphonic acid (PPA), which was the phosphorus compound, before completing the ester exchange reaction in the polymerization of polyethylene 2,6-naphthalate. The resin chips were subjected to melt spinning in the same manner as in Examples 2 to 4, but were not able to spin satisfactorily due to frequent occurrence of breakage of the yarn upon spinning. The detailed production conditions are shown in Table 1.

Comparative Example 5

Chips of a polyethylene naphthalate resin (intrinsic viscosity: 0.75) were obtained in the same manner as in Example 4 except that 40 mmol % of orthophosphoric acid was added instead of phenylphosphonic acid (PPA), which was the phosphorus compound, before completing the ester exchange reaction in the polymerization of polyethylene 2,6-naphthalate. An undrawn yarn was obtained from the resin chips by changing the temperature of the spinning chimney in Example 4 of 280° C. to 360° C. for improving the spinning property. A drawn yarn was obtained subsequently by changing the draw ratio to 1.19 times. There was slight difficulty in spinning property since phenylphosphinic acid (PPA) as the phosphorus compound was not added, but the yarn was able to be produced as being different from Comparative Example 4.

The resulting drawn yarn had a crystal volume of 474 nm3 (474,000 Å3) and a degree of crystallization of 44%. The resulting polyethylene naphthalate fibers had a tenacity of 5.9 cN/dtex, hot air shrinkage of 4.2% at 180° C. and a melting point of 279° C., which indicated poor heat resistance and contraction property.

The drawn yarn was formed into a treated cord in the same manner as in Example 1.

The production conditions are shown in Table 1, and the resulting properties are shown in Tables 3 and 5.

Example 5

Fibers and a cord were obtained in the same manner as in Example 1 except that the phosphorus compound used in Example was changed from phenylphosphonic acid (PPA) to phenylphosphinic acid, and the addition amount thereof was changed to 100 mmol %.

The resulting fibers were excellent in high heat resistance and low contraction property. The fibers had favorable spinning property without breakage of yarn.

The production conditions are shown in Table 2, and the resulting properties are shown in Tables 4 and 5.

Comparative Example 6

The spinning speed in Example 1 was changed from 2,500 m/min to 5,500 m/min, i.e., the spinning draft ratio was changed from 962 to 2,700, and other conditions were also changed. Specifically, the bore diameter of the spinneret was changed from 0.7 mm to 1.2 mm for conforming the fineness of the resulting fibers, the heat-retaining spinning chimney immediately beneath the spinneret was changed to a heated spinning chimney having a temperature that was changed from 330° C. to 400° C., which was higher than the melting point of the molten polymer by 90° C., and the length thereof was changed from 50 mm to 350 mm, thereby providing an undrawn yarn. The subsequent draw ratio was changed to 1.22 times to provide a drawn yarn excellent in strength.

The resulting drawn yarn had a crystal volume of 163 nm3 (163,000 Å3) and a degree of crystallization of 48%. The resulting polyethylene naphthalate fibers had a tenacity of 8.5 cN/dtex, but had hot air shrinkage of 6.3% at 180° C. and a melting point of 280° C., which indicated poor heat resistance and contraction property.

The drawn yarn was formed into a treated cord in the same manner as in Example 1.

The production conditions are shown in Table 2, and the resulting properties are shown in Tables 4 and 5.

Comparative Example 7

Fibers and a cord were obtained in the same manner as in Comparative Example 6 except that the phosphorus compound used in Comparative Example 6 was changed from phenylphosphonic acid (PPA) to phenylphosphinic acid, the addition amount thereof was changed to 0.06 part by weight (100 mmol %), and the draw ratio was changed to 1.19 times.

The resulting fibers were poor in heat resistance and contraction property.

The production conditions are shown in Table 2, and the resulting properties are shown in Tables 4 and 5.

Comparative Example 8

The spinning speed in Example 5 was changed from 2,500 m/min to 459 m/min, i.e., the spinning draft ratio was changed from 962 to 83, and the bore diameter of the spinneret was changed from 0.7 mm to 0.5 mm for conforming the fineness of the resulting fibers. The heat-retaining spinning chimney immediately beneath the spinneret was changed to a heated spinning chimney having a temperature that was changed to 400° C., which was higher than the melting point of the molten polymer by 90° C., and the length thereof was changed to 250 mm, thereby providing an undrawn yarn. The subsequent draw ratio was changed to 6.10 times to provide a drawn yarn.

The resulting drawn yarn had a crystal volume of 298 nm3 (298,000 Å3) and a degree of crystallization of 48%. The resulting polyethylene naphthalate fibers had a tenacity of 9.1 cN/dtex, but had hot air shrinkage of 7.0% at 180° C. and a melting point of 280° C., which indicated poor heat resistance and contraction property.

The drawn yarn was formed into a treated cord in the same manner as in Example 1.

The production conditions are shown in Table 2, and the resulting properties are shown in Tables 4 and 5.

Comparative Example 9

Chips of the same polyethylene naphthalate resin using orthophosphoric acid as in Comparative Example 5 were adjusted to have an intrinsic viscosity of 0.87 by solid state polymerization, the bore diameter of the spinneret was changed to 0.5 mm, the spinning speed was changed to 5,000 m/min, and the spinning draft ratio was changed to 330. Since there was difficulty in spinning property with these conditions, the spinning chimney immediately beneath the spinneret was changed to a heated spinning chimney having a temperature that was changed to 390° C., which was higher than the melting point of the molten polymer by 80° C., and the length thereof was changed to 400 mm, thereby providing an undrawn yarn. The subsequent draw ratio was changed to 1.07 times to provide a drawn yarn. There was difficulty in spinning property since phenylphosphonic acid (PPA) as the phosphorus compound was not added, but the yarn was able to be produced.

The resulting drawn yarn had a small crystal volume of 502 nm3 (502,000 Å3) and a degree of crystallization of 45%. The resulting polyethylene naphthalate fibers had a tenacity of 6.7 cN/dtex, hot air shrinkage of 2.5% at 180° C. and a melting point of 287° C., i.e., the strength was slightly inferior.

The drawn yarn was formed into a treated cord in the same manner as in Example 1.

The production conditions are shown in Table 2, and the resulting properties are shown in Tables 4 and 5. The resulting cord was poor in strength and fatigue property.

Comparative Example 10

Chips of the same polyethylene naphthalate resin using orthophosphoric acid as in Comparative Example 5 were adjusted to have an intrinsic viscosity of 0.90 by solid state polymerization, the bore diameter of the spinneret was changed to 0.4 mm, the spinning speed was changed to 750 m/min, and the spinning draft ratio was changed to 60. The temperature of the spinning chimney immediately beneath the spinneret was changed to 330° C., and the length thereof was changed to 400 mm, thereby providing an undrawn yarn. The subsequent draw ratio was changed to 5.67 times to provide a drawn yarn. There was difficulty in spinning property with considerably frequent occurrence of breakage of monofilament since phenylphosphonic acid (PPA) as the phosphorus compound was not added, but the yarn was able to be produced.

The resulting drawn yarn had a small crystal volume of 442 nm3 (442,000 Å3) and a degree of crystallization of 48%. The resulting polyethylene naphthalate fibers had a tenacity of 8.8 cN/dtex, hot air shrinkage of 5.9% at 180° C. and a melting point of 280° C., i.e., the heat resistance was slightly inferior although the strength was high.

The drawn yarn was formed into a treated cord in the same manner as in Example 1.

The production conditions are shown in Table 2, and the resulting properties are shown in Tables 4 and 5. The resulting treated cord was poor in dimensional stability and fatigue property.

Comparative Example 11

Chips of the same polyethylene naphthalate resin using orthophosphoric acid as in Comparative Example 5 were adjusted to have an intrinsic viscosity of 0.95 by solid state polymerization, the bore diameter of the spinneret was changed to 1.7 mm, and the spinning speed was changed to 380 m/min, provided that the spinning draft ratio was changed to 550 for conforming the fineness. For preventing the yarn from being broken, the spinning chimney immediately beneath the spinneret was changed to a heated spinning chimney having a temperature that was changed to 370° C., which was higher than the melting point of the molten polymer by 60° C., and the length thereof was changed to 400 mm, thereby providing an undrawn yarn. The subsequent draw ratio was changed to 6.85 times to provide a drawn yarn. There was difficulty in spinning property with frequent occurrence of breakage of yarn upon drawning since phenylphosphonic acid (PPA) as the phosphorus compound was not added, and the resulting drawn yarn also suffered considerably frequent breakage of monofilament.

The resulting drawn yarn had a small crystal volume of 370 nm3 (370,000 Å3) and a degree of crystallization of 45%. The resulting polyethylene naphthalate fibers had a tenacity of 8.5 cN/dtex, hot air shrinkage of 5.6% at 180° C. and a melting point of 271° C., i.e., the heat resistance was inferior although the strength was high.

The drawn yarn was formed into a treated cord in the same manner as in Example 1.

The production conditions are shown in Table 2, and the resulting properties are shown in Tables 4 and 5. The resulting treated cord was poor in dimensional stability and fatigue property.

TABLE 1
Production Conditions (1)
Comparative Comparative Comparative Comparative Comparative
Example 1 Example 1 Example 2 Example 2 Example 3 Example 3 Example 4 Example 4 Example 5
Spinning conditions
Additive* PPA ortho- PPA ortho- PPA ortho- PPA ortho- ortho-
phosphoric phosphoric phosphoric phosphoric phosphoric acid
acid acid acid acid
Addition amount 50 40 50 40 50 40 50 40 ortho-
(mmol %) phosphoric acid
IV 0.74 0.74 ortho-
phosphoric acid
Spinneret bore diameter 0.7 0.8 0.8 ortho-
(mm) phosphoric acid
Heating distance 50 100 135 250 ortho-
beneath spinneret (mm) phosphoric acid
Heating temperature 330 260 280 360
beneath spinneret (° C.)
Spinning speed 2,500 4,750 4,750 3,500
(m/min)
Spinning draft ratio 962 1,251 1,251 1,104
Spinning property +++ ++ +++ +++ +
Properties of undrawn yarn
IV 0.70 0.68 0.69 0.68 0.69
Specific gravity 1.357 1.358 1.356 1.359 1.346
Δn 0.179 0.206 0.218 0.252 0.250
Draw ratio 1.08 1.05 1.05 1.05 1.19
Additive*: PPA (phenylphosphonic acid), PPI (phenylphosphinic acid)
″: same as left column
blank column: no data

TABLE 2
Production Conditions (2)
Comparative Comparative Comparative Comparative Comparative Comparative
(Example 1) Example 5 Example 6 Example 7 Example 8 Example 9 Example 10 Example 11
Spinning conditions
Additive* PPA PPI PPA PPI PPI orthophosphoric ortho- ortho-
acid phosphoric acid phosphoric acid
Addition amount 50 100 50 100 100 40 ortho- ortho-
(mmol %) phosphoric acid phosphoric acid
IV 0.74 0.74 0.74 0.87 0.90 0.95
Spinneret bore diameter 0.7 0.7 1.2 0.5 0.5 0.4 1.7
(mm)
Heating distance 50 50 350 250 400
beneath spinneret (mm)
Heating temperature 330 330 400 400 390 330 370
beneath spinneret (° C.)
Spinning speed 2,500 2,500 5,500 459 5,000 750 380
(m/min)
Spinning draft ratio 962 962 2,700 83 330 60 550
Spinning property +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ + + +
Properties of undrawn yarn
IV 0.70 0.70 0.70 0.70 0.70 0.76 0.76 0.73
Specific gravity 1.357 1.354 1.358 1.358 1.326 1.357 1.324 1.322
Δn 0.179 0.182 0.290 0.288 0.004 0.247 0.004 0.002
Draw ratio 1.08 1.08 1.22 1.19 6.10 1.07 5.67 6.85
additive*: PPA (phenylphosphonic acid), PPI (phenylphosphinic acid)
″: same as left column

TABLE 3
Property of Fibers (1)
Comparative
Property of fibers Example 1 Example 2 Example 3 Example 4 Example 5
Crystal volume (nm3) 952 781 700 668 474
Degree of crystallization (%) 47 47 48 48 44
Maximum peak diffraction angle (°) 26.4 26.5 26.5 26.6 15.5
E′ (100° C.)/E′ (20° C.) 0.80 0.85 0.82 0.73 0.60
E′ (200° C.)/E′ (20° C.) 0.35 0.38 0.35 0.26 0.15
tanδ peak temperature (° C.) 160 157 157 159 178
Tm (° C.) 297 298 296 290 279
Tc (° C.) 208 208 207 208 230
ΔHc (J/g) 38 40 39 40 13
Tcd (° C.) 221 222 220 220 210
ΔHcd (J/g) 35 36 34 35 15
Tenacity (cN/dtex) 7.4 7.2 7.1 7.6 5.9
Elongation (%) 5.5 4.5 6.0 5.8 9.5
EASL (%) 2.7 2.5 2.8 2.9 3.0
Hot air shrinkage at 180° C. (%) 2.6 2.7 2.8 3.1 4.2
ρDY 1.362 1.362 1.363 1.363 1.360
ΔnDY 0.272 0.268 0.275 0.288 0.311
EASL; Elongation at Specific Load

TABLE 4
Property of Fibers (2)
Comparative Comparative Comparative Comparative Comparative Comparative
Property of fibers (Example 1) Example 5 Example 6 Example 7 Example 8 Example 9 Example 10 Example 11
Crystal volume 952 902 163 173 298 502 442 370
(nm3)
Degree of 47 47 48 47 48 45 48 45
crystallization (%)
Maximum peak 26.4 26.5 23.5 23.5 15.5 15.6 15.5 15.5
diffraction angle (°)
E′ (100° C.)/E′ (20° C.) 0.80 0.76 0.68 0.68 0.65 0.70 0.64 0.59
E′ (200° C.)/E′ (20° C.) 0.35 0.32 0.25 0.23 0.21 0.25 0.16 0.13
tanδ peak 160 160 178 178 181 175 184 182
temperature (° C.)
Tm (° C.) 297 296 280 279 280 287 280 271
Tc (° C.) 208 214 208 216 218 233 234 233
ΔHc (J/g) 38 32 39 24 25 11 10 10
Tcd (° C.) 221 216 220 218 217 206 204 205
ΔHcd (J/g) 35 25 35 25 23 13 12 11
Tenacity (cN/dtex) 7.4 7.1 8.5 8.3 9.1 6.7 8.8 8.5
Elongation (%) 5.5 5.1 8.8 8.5 10.8 8.1 6.9 11.0
EASL (%) 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.9 2.7 3.2 2.5 4.0
Hot air shrinkage at 2.6 2.7 6.3 6.6 7.0 2.5 6.0 5.6
180° C. (%)
ρDY 1.362 1.362 1.363 1.362 1.363 1.361 1.363 1.361
ΔnDY 0.272 0.281 0.327 0.325 0.333 0.324 0.344 0.323
EASL; Elongation at Specific Load

TABLE 5
Property of Treated Cord
Example 1 Example 2 Example 3 Example 4
Strength (N) 123 119 118 126
EASL (A) (%) 2.0 1.9 2.0 1.9
Hot air shrinkage at 180° C. (B) (%) 2.0 2.0 2.1 2.3
Dimensional stability (A + B) (%) 4.0 3.9 4.1 4.2
Heat resistant strength holding ratio (%) 93 92 92 89
Disc Fatigue (%) 91 92 90 88
Tube Life Fatigue (min) 458 432 405 378
Comparative Comparative Comparative
Example 5 Example 5 Example 6 Example 7
Strength (N) 99 118 152 149
EASL (A) (%) 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.1
Hot air shrinkage at 180° C. (B) (%) 3.1 2.0 2.2 2.2
Dimensional stability (A + B) (%) 5.1 4.0 4.2 4.3
Heat resistant strength holding ratio (%) 80 91 85 83
Disc Fatigue (%) 75 90 85 86
Tube Life Fatigue (min) 320 423 445 438
Comparative Comparative Comparative Comparative
Example 8 Example 9 Example 10 Example 11
Strength (N) 157 138 152 147
EASL (A) (%) 2.0 2.1 2.1 2.1
Hot air shrinkage at 180° C. (B) (%) 3.2 2.2 3.5 3.7
Dimensional stability (A + B) (%) 5.2 4.3 5.6 5.8
Heat resistant strength holding ratio (%) 84 82 85 80
Disc Fatigue (%) 80 75 70 72
Tube Life Fatigue (min) 295 303 225 247
EASL; Elongation at Specific Load

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Classifications
U.S. Classification524/604, 524/439, 528/280, 528/276, 524/130, 524/440, 264/210.8, 528/281, 524/133
International ClassificationC08L67/03
Cooperative ClassificationD01D10/02, D01D5/098, D01F1/10, D01F6/62
European ClassificationD01D5/098, D01D10/02, D01F6/62, D01F1/10
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 13, 2010ASAssignment
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SHIMADA, SHINTARO;TERASAKA, FUYUKI;REEL/FRAME:024977/0827
Owner name: TEIJIN FIBERS LIMITED, JAPAN
Effective date: 20100802